The Masjid-i-Kutb-ul-Islam [Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque]. Pillars in the north-east corner of the Colonnade.
The Masjid-i-Kutb-ul-Islam [Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque]. Pillars in the north-east corner of the Colonnade.: Close view of carved Hindu pillars. © British Library/Charles Shepherd

THIS pillar, which is the central object of the foreground in this photograph, is, in spite of its conglomerate construction, beautiful and little damaged. Of the many pillars composing the Colonnade, to me this seems to be the most perfect; and the casting of it in plaster was the first operation which the native moulders accompanying me to the Kutb undertook. The successful result obtained has now been built up at the South Kensington Museum. The elaborate carving of columns adopted towards the end of the eleventh century, closely assimilates the ornamentation in this example, hence this period appears to be the date of the execution of the several portions of the pillar. The base, two shafts and cap, are in separate pieces, and merely rest one on the other without any cement or means of joining. To the left of the photograph may be seen the floor of the corner pavilion, which is supported by capitals immediately surmounting the first shaft of each of the sixteen small and somewhat plainly designed pillars which form the basis of the pavilion structure. It will be observed that the floor of the pavilion is between three and four feet lower than the beams of the roof which rests upon the series of columns of which one highly decorated example has already been described above. For the position of the pillar which was cast see M on plan No. II.